While we all know the importance of including relevant work experience and accomplishments on a resume, there are a few points that you should absolutely skip over. A resume that’s written well can help you land a job, but one that’s written poorly can immediately land you in the “no” pile. To make sure that your resume stands out in a positive way, keep these elements off of the document:

Your entire life’s story

While you probably have plenty of stories to share, dozens of hobbies, and a great family, a hiring manager doesn’t really care about those things. They’re focused on what you’ve done successfully in the past, and how you can benefit their organization now. Keep it professional and only include details about your career. Take out any mention of your childhood, your marital status, and the fact that you’re a certified scuba diver.

Overwhelming blocks of text

Hiring managers are pressed for time, so when you send in your resume you want to make it easy for them to scan the document. This means using short sentences and bulleted lists. If you start writing paragraph upon paragraph about your past experience, you can bet that the person reading it won’t make it past the second sentence. You can still convey all of the information you need to, just put it into a readable format.


Regardless of whether you have model looks or not, you shouldn’t be posting a picture of yourself on your resume. Instead of reading valuable content on your resume, a hiring manager is wasting time looking at your picture. Skip the photo and fill the resume with great content instead.

Scattered information

Your resume shouldn’t hop all over the place as it details your skills and experience. Whether you use a chronological resume or have chosen another format, there has to be a method to the madness as you read the resume. A hiring manager shouldn’t have to stop and think about where you were working during a particular time period. They should be able to follow your path well.

Bland language

When you’re using generic terms like “communicator” or “leader,” you’re missing out on a chance to make yourself stand out. Any professional should have communication and leadership skills. It’s time to take your resume and bring it to the next level. Think about accomplishments or skills that really separate you from other applicants, and then use traits to make your resume pop. When you’re able to separate yourself from the pack in terms of accomplishments, skills, or areas of interest, you help a hiring manager to understand when you’re more qualified for the role than anyone else they’re bringing in for an interview.

In addition to learning about the various components that your resume absolutely must have, knowing what doesn’t fit on the document can help you to strengthen yours and earn yourself a second look from a hiring manager. Every sentence on your resume should add value to the overall document, illustrating exactly why you’re a strong contender.